Introspection is heavy

In the game of “Go,” a ancient Chinese game with black and white circles placed on a grid, the board starts blank. There exists only lines and unlimited potential.

It is at the start when the board is most pure. An infinite number of moves is possible. The first player makes a decision – a piece is placed. The opponent responds, then the player – on and on.

With each piece placed, the outcome drifts from possible to certain. As the outcome becomes more clear, there is less and less a player can do to avoid this outcome.

Life is the same way. As children life holds infinite possibilities. Any outcome is possible from professions to relationships.

As we place the pieces of our lives, we begin to lock in an outcome. This parent lived with. This subject studied. This grade achieved. This town moved to. This school attended. This major selected. This job applied for. On and on.

One job leads to another. One promotion leads to another. By now all locked in to a particular career. Corporate executives don’t jump to farming; computer programers don’t jump to horse wrangling. Each piece placed leads to the next.

Now, there’s a phenomenon known as “quantum decoherence,” where, in one example, a photon (light particle) has an unlimited number of ways it can refract through a pane of glass. What direction is goes depends on whether an observer is present. If there is no one in the room – no eye to receive the photon, it could bounce off the glass and into a trillion different directions. But if there is someone there – if there is someone to see the photon, it will refract through the glass into the eye of the observer, registering light and allowing us to see.

Scientists are working on quantum computers. All computers use a binary system: one is on, zero is off. Everything is based off of this. Quantum computers use the spin of an electron (+½ or -½) to represent this on or off characteristic. What makes it special is that an electron can spin both ways at the same time. Don’t ask how, scientists don’t know. It’s freaky.

Thus with a quantum computer, figuring out something – say with an 1024-bit encryption (something normal computers would take billions of years to decode), it would only take a millionth of a second. Why? Since the computer could simultaneously test every possible solution at once (since every bit of ones and zeros could simultaneously be one and zero), the right answer would just seem to appear immediately. It would decohere from nothing into something, as each piece placed lead to the next, like a fast-forwarded replay of a Go game. Boom, there’s the answer!

Isn’t that fascinating? Perhaps life, the game of Go, and the concept of decoherence are all entwined. For all the wondering if we’re “on the right path” or if we’ve made the right life decisions…maybe we are fulfilling the exact purpose for which we were made.

In having that kid, in leaving that job, in exploring that desire; maybe we are all moving toward decoherence. Maybe we’re all heading toward exactly who we need to be, regardless of the crap that’s been in our lives.

So don’t stress about it. You’re on your path. And no matter how much you might think you need to jump around, you’ll always be exactly where you are – and probably where you need to be anyway.

Anyway, just thinking…back to work plebs.

Tomorrow I’ll try to hash through utilizing opportunity for good or ill (a one or a zero, to keep the binary vibe going).


About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

9 responses to “Introspection is heavy”

  1. finch says :

    one day you’re a writer – one day you’re a freggin’ philosphizer guy…do your powers have NO end?

  2. salmons says :

    Philosophy is my first love, then Mojitos, then Thai food, then film editing, then writing 😉

  3. Beth* A. says :

    I’ve got to agree with you on the Mojitos. As for the philosophy, way to go! This really was a fascinating post! Had to read it a coupla times, but still…really cool. Makes one think – Ouch! 😉

  4. acedaryl says :

    sounds like you have been pondering sovereignty versus free will. Careful, many a man has migrained over this topic.

  5. salmons says :

    The more you try to make something one or the other, the more it becomes both 😉

  6. Lopermania says :

    Nice Post! When can I join the Cult of the Salmons? 🙂

  7. salmons says :

    Actually, it’s the Cult of the Great Blue Yak. We haven’t drafted a temple constitution yet, so membership is still up in the air 😉

  8. spencer says :

    I used to collect all kinds of weird, foreign board games. GO was one of them. I never did figure out how play it, because I could never find anyone else who had played it before. I’d say life is more another game called “Obsolone” where the players use shifting marble “peices to knock the other player’s peices of the board… but that’s a different story.

  9. salmons says :

    Go is pretty badass, actually. I’d recommend it. There are some free shareware games you can download that include tutorials. It’s highly intellectual and entertaining all at the same time.

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